10/24/2012 05:17 pm ET Updated Dec 23, 2012

Change Is Messy

Listening to the debates aroused my curiosity about Mr. Romney's understanding and practice of Patience, which comes with its partner Self-control and their children Thoughtfulness, Caution, and Messy.

Messy is the important one here, for she has a very deep understanding of everything that goes on when Change is occurring. And since Change is occurring all the time, this is a very important understanding to have.

Change is messy and Messy knows it.

Okay. Seriously now.

In your own life, in the life of groups, committees, organizations, institutions, government, village, nations -- but again, most importantly, in one's individual life does anyone know of anything more messy than change?

Whether you are moving from one house to another, one place to another, one decade to another, one social status to another, one size to another, one relationship to another or to none -- no matter what the scale of change it may be, it is always messy.

Messy implies disorder.
Messy implies confusion.
Messy implies out of order.
Messy is likely clumsy.
Messy can be painful.
Messy may even mean joyful but still, it is messy.

You get the point. Just think about it.

So where does Mr. Romney and other Republicans come off accusing the Obama administration of things not being complete? Since when is the fight for freedom, wherever it may occur, a quick and efficient endeavor?

What is happening in the Middle East is no failure of the Obama administration. It is about change. And change is messy.

It takes time. It takes getting the anger out. It takes getting organized. It takes cooperation and collaboration (my new favorite word). It takes settling in with a system which hopefully works well enough to help organize a society in a new way, a way in which it wishes to be organized.

I am a psychotherapist. I have worked with wonderful people over many years. Change has never come easily. It comes slowly. It is messy. It is painful. It is difficult. It requires a lot of time, a lot of help and a lot of patience.

If we think of change is a constant, then how do we even begin to keep up with it/catch up with it?

So in general, we don't think that way.

We think in terms of our history, our patterns, our awareness (the first step). We think that perhaps something is not working as we wish, thus Change is called upon to help. Change engages us therapists to be a kind of medium for itself. We therapists are the vehicle by which the hope to help improve people's lives remains alive and hopeful. It is a slow and patient process. This is important to remember and understand.

It is well worthwhile, worth the money, and worth the time.

Because dealing with change is about self-respect and well-being.

It's about the fascinating process of knowing ourselves more deeply and more honestly. Every spiritual process invites us in. Pain invites us in also.

The one thing which is clear is that change is messy and takes time. We all must be patient -- patient and wise.

If we could get that right here at home and spread it around, the world would be a better, more peaceful place.